Young speed-merchant Jeremy Wahome is excited taking part in the upcoming World Rally Championship[WRC] Safari Rally where he is expected to be among a star-studded list of 58 top drivers set to battle for supremacy in the event slated to run from June 24-27 in Nakuru county.
The 22 year old has been steadily making his way in racing’s most prestigious competition,and on his shoulders, lies the hopes of an entire country and arguably the entire African continent as he pursues his life-long dream to duel with 6-time Formula 1 (F1) champion Lewis Hamilton.
“Wahome is quite a fast driver; he was racing in the British Formula Three championships and the Malaysian Formula BMW which is equivalent to the British Formula 4” WRC Safari Rally Project CEO Phineas Kimathi said of the wonder-kid.
The ambitious sportsman who is part of the three Kenyan drivers who will get to rally in Fully kitted Ford Fiestas RC-3 as part of the FIA Rally Star Program earned the seat by merit following their splendid driving in national and international events.
“I would be driving number 64 car with my navigator Victor Okundi,I believe young people would be the future of the motorsport in the next few years.WRC Safari is a once in a life time opportunity and definitely I would want to make the best of this.I promise do my best just like I have done in go karting and racing in Europe and Asia” he stated.
Wahome started racing at the Rift Valley Motorsports Club Solai circuit with go karts before proceeding abroad where he competed in the British Formula E and Malaysian Formula Three rounds which would have progressively taken him closer to his childhood dream of becoming the first African to compete in the high-end Formula One, also considered the jewel in the crown of auto racing, until he was convinced to switch to rallying.
Speaking a few years ago during an interview with the BBC, the gifted driver made it clear that his dream was to race against his idol and source of inspiration.
“Lewis Hamilton is my all-time favourite driver and if he sticks around for the next 4 to 5 years, it’d be a dream to race against him,” he told the BBC at the end of 2017.
With the current Formula 1 world champion currently 35 years of age but still driving his Mercedes Benz w11 , Wahome could still get his chance but he would need to prove his mettle in Formula 3 then Formula 2 before getting his shot.
On June 8, 2018, organisers of the world’s first F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA released the names of the first confirmed drivers for the inaugural season, and the Kenyan driver just happened to be the only African on the list.
He competed in the Super-Six category and one round of the full Asia Cup at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, claiming three top rookie awards with two runner-up finishes and a third place from five races.
WRC defending champion and current leader Sebastien Ogier will be seeking to replicate his glittering form as he takes on the rest of the world in a competition that has attracted global attention due to terrain and topography in Naivasha where it will take place.
Ogier, the Frenchman, who also won the 2019 WRC title, will represent the Toyota Gazoo Racing Team with other entries seeing Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanpera and Takamoto Katsuta who will be competing in the WRC RC1 category in the Toyota Yaris.
Hyundai will be represented by Thierry Neuville, Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo while M-sport Ford have rolled up their sleeves and are not taking chances, bringing in Gus Greensmith, Adrien Fourmaux, Teemu Sunninien, Lorenzo Bertelli and Martin Prokop.